Banned! Taken down! Deplatformed!
How the Suppression of Dissenting Voices Undermines Freedom and Human Flourishing
What in the world is going on here? What’s behind this pandemic of suppression, the silencing of those who challenge the official narrative, the shutting down of dissenting voices?
Drs. Judy Mikovits, Daniel Erickson, Artin Massihi, Knut Wittkowski. They’ve become household names in the age of COVID-19. Just don’t go looking for them on the social media platforms.
When their accounts are not being suspended, their content is being taken down. Their sin? Challenging the approved narrative about the coronavirus pandemic. Never mind that Dr. Wittkowski, for example—a world renowned epidemiologist—holds not one, but two doctorates: one in computer science and the other in medical biometry. Or consider infectious disease expert Dr. Stephen Smith. While vindication is at hand, he’s been persecuted for his advocacy of the exceptionally effective antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine for the treatment of COVID-19.
Who is behind it? WHO is behind it. As in the mightily corrupt World Health Organization, bankrolled by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Renowned statistician William M. Briggs explains, “It wasn’t that YouTube just promoted pro-WHO videos. It’s that they purged videos they thought went against the WHO’s narrative of the day. They went beyond promotion into active censorship. Just like Facebook, they decided that only pro-elite content was allowable, and anti-elite content must be axed. This can only happen if the elites at YouTube decided the WHO could not be wrong, not in any important way. . . . Susan Wojcicki, the chief of YouTube, was on CNN announcing which videos would be purged. Anything that is ‘problematic’ would be ‘removed.’ Anything ‘unsubstantiated’ would be classed as a ‘violation of our terms of service’ and would be removed. ‘Anything that would go against World Health Organizations would be a violation of our policy’ and would be removed. How do they know which information is best? A better question is, how do they know which information is worst? Because many platforms are hard at whacking material they don’t approve of.”
What other kinds of rights are to be obliterated by these policies—which are actually indistinguishable from the tools of totalitarian regimes?
Our mission? To help create and foster the conditions that enable human flourishing and abundance everywhere—beginning right here in the USA, where, sadly, the promise of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is under unprecedented assault.
We’re building the Dissenting Voices platform because whenever, wherever freedom is diminished, so too is the hope of human flourishing—and the abundance that attends it. Today that freedom is being impacted by the aggressive suppression of independent voices—the voices of people who dare to think for themselves, to ask penetrating, uncomfortable questions, to actually apply critical thinking in their decision-making; in short, to “do the math.”
Ironically, though, while the dissenting voice can be powerful, it is also fragile. And when one voice is suppressed, all are suppressed—whether or not we agree with what is said. It’s why the words penned by Beatrice Hall matter now more than ever: “I may disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it!”
Dissenting Voices seeks to amplify this essential, life-sustaining core value through deep investigative journalism and in print, interactive, film, and other media channels, as well as events. It’s a message we will bring to anyone and everyone who values freedom of expression, and, perhaps most importantly, to our children, in whom we must inculcate such values so that they may be preserved for future generations.
Armed with such freedoms—and the knowledge of the power inherent in them—we can indeed create a future world of human flourishing and abundance.
We know this because the critical thinking skills that support and embolden voices of dissent are the very same skills that enable innovation; the same skills that bring imagination and creativity to the solving of global grand challenges. We believe every person possesses this innate agency—the capacity to think and act and make their own free choices and exercise their own free will. And to the extent that this awareness is latent, we are determined to bring it to full consciousness and fruition.
Today we are witnessing a world in the grip of fear and ignorance—“the twins whose mother is slavery and whose father is oppression.” As Edmund Burke put it, “No passion so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear.” If we have anything to fear, it is the viruses of fear and ignorance—the deadliest pathogens known to humankind—the viruses against which the most effective vaccine is truth.
But we must be sober-minded about this. Fear is a tremendously powerful emotion and it is easily exploited to reinforce ignorance. And it does so to great effect. In short, fear not only reduces resistance to authority, it quells dissent. Natan Sharansky—a man who spent nine years in soviet prisons—asks, “Will dissent be permitted? The answer to that question will determine whether the society is a free society or a fear society.”